As a frequent traveller I fell a love with my Mac Book Air a few years ago. Especially after they upgraded to 8GB RAM and 512 GB SDD I was really happy with it.
In my opinion the MacBook Air is the model with the best cost benefit ratio in Apple’s notebook line.
Also I really really enjoyed the long battery lifetime of the Air.
However, as I am working with Cloud technologies at anynines including technologies such as OpenStack and Cloud Foundry a little more RAM allows to run more and/or larger local VMs.
The fact that the MacBook Pro series also comes with a max. of 1TB hdd also made me curious. While most of the day I don’t need so much disk space especially digital photography and iTunes movies eat up huge amounts of disk space.
So in the end I went for more RAM and HDD vs. longer battery lifetime.
My current experience is that even on a 16 hour one stop flight from Berlin to San Francisco, the Mac Book Pro kept me working all flight long. Not continuously but whenever I had in my mind I could do.
Please allow a little excursion on working in a plain.
Saving battery power in the plain is easy.
Watch your browser and more precisely. Watch your browser tabs / web pages. Web pages such as Facebook are not just html. They are real applications and they do a hell lot of stuff in the background. This uses a lot of CPU and networking turning your computer into an fancy heater.
Watch your twitter client. I really don’t know what this piece of software is doing. Actually it’s only about storing a few 140 character texts but this piece of software is greedy. It burns CPU and eats a lot of RAM.
Videos. Watching videos of course eats battery.
So in a plane I switch of most applications I don’t need. Including things like Mail and Dropbox using the activity manager to identify them.
The next big energy consumer is - of course - the display.
Reducing the brightness of your display heavily increases battery lifetime. Usually it’s not very bright in a plane anyway, so reducing the screen brightness is much better for the concentration, too.
Back to the Mac Book topic.
So far I’ve been using the Mac Book Pro 13” for a few weeks. My interim balance very is positive.
The retina display. When I got my first Mac Book Pro with a retina display, I returned it the next day. Barely no application supported the new resolution which was really disappointing. In the meanwhile things have changed. Only trouble I’ve seen, is with Java applications. The rest is just awesome. I really enjoy changing the screen resolution according to my mood. Sometimes, when I am tired, for example, I like big letters. Other times I prefer a larger resolution so more windows can fit in. Works fine.
RAM and HDD. There’s is not much to say about this except that I currently do not have to think about it anymore. 16 GB RAM and 1 TB HDD is more than enough for me.
I am 100 % happy with the Mac Book Pro 13. However, for those who don’t want to spend too much on a computer or have a strong emphasize on battery lifetime, the Mac Book Air is also a brilliant piece of technology.